Developed by Square Enix & released almost a decade ago, Final Fantasy XIV was the fourteenth version of the critically acclaimed and award-winning Final Fantasy game for Windows. The game was also only the second massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) in the entire series. It continues to be loved by netizens and is still widely played across the globe.
However, like almost every game ever released, Final Fantasy XIV is also prone to a variety of issues. The FFXIV Fatal DirectX error is one of the most commonly encountered errors and has been plaguing the game ever since its release. The error is preceded by a couple of seconds of screen freeze/lag before ultimately crashing the game and rendering it unplayable.
In this article, we have explained all the solutions that have been known to resolve the Final Fantasy XIV Fatal DirectX error and help users get back to gaming.
How to fix Final Fantasy XIV Fatal DirectX Error?
The Fatal DirectX error is primarily associated with DirectX 11 in full-screen games. The easiest and most common solution is to run Final Fantasy XIV in windowed mode and enter full screen once you manage to successfully launch the game. But since the Fatal DirectX error prevents the game from being launched at all, you will need to edit the game’s configuration file (.cfg file) manually to run it in windowed mode.
If DirectX 11 isn’t the real culprit, the fatal error might just be due to outdated or corrupt graphic drivers currently installed on your personal computer. Simply updating to the latest drivers available for your graphic card should help in that case.
Other potential solutions to the Fatal DirectX error include running Final Fantasy using DirectX 9, disabling SLI in systems incorporating Nvidia GPUs, and crossfire in AMD ones.
Method 1: Run FFXIV in a borderless window, i.e., in windowed mode
As mentioned earlier, disabling fullscreen via in-game display settings wouldn’t be possible as the game crashes at the time of the startup itself. To run Final Fantasy XIV in windowed mode by editing the .cfg file, follow the below steps:
1. Launch the Windows File Explorer by either double-clicking on its shortcut icon or using the keyboard combination Windows key + E.
2. Open the Documents (or My Documents) folder by clicking on the same under the Quick Access Menu and then open the My Games folder.
3. Under Documents, locate and open the FINAL FANTASY XIV game folder.
4. In the FINAL FANTASY XIV folder, find the “FFXIV.cfg” file and right-click on it to launch the context menu. Select ‘Open With…’ and choose Notepad.
Note: Opening the file in Notepad will allow us to edit/modify the .cfg file.
5. Click on the Edit option at the top-left of the window and select Find from the drop-down menu. Alternatively, press the Ctrl + F hotkey to bring up the Find dialog box.
6. Type ScreenMode in the textbox next to Find What:
7. Click on the Find Next button. Notepad will now immediately bring you to the part of the document where ScreenMode appears.
8. By default, the value of ScreenMode is set to 0. Simply, delete the 0 and type 2 in its place.
9. Save the changes by clicking on File and then Save (or press Ctrl + S). Close the FFXIV.cfg file.
Now try to launch Final Fantasy XIV and check if the Fatal error still persists. To enter full-screen mode once FFXIV launches, press Alt + Enter.
Method 2: Uninstall corrupt graphic card drivers/Update graphic card drivers
Drivers are software files that are necessary for effective communication between a system’s hardware and software. It is essential to have the correct and most updated drivers installed to make the most of your system’s hardware. Sometimes, the existing drivers can go corrupt and result in a number of pesky issues. Corrupt drivers are often the culprits for most gaming-related issues and DirectX errors.
To solve any issues resulting from corrupt drivers, uninstall them and replace them with the latest version. To manually update your graphic card drivers:
1. Open Device Manager, press Windows key + R to launch the Run command box, type devmgmt.msc, and click on OK.
2. Expand Display Adapters by clicking on the arrow next to it.
3. Right-click on your graphic card and select the Uninstall device option.
4. A pop-up box warning you about your action will arrive. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid of any faulty or corrupt drivers that might be installed on your computer.
5. Again, right-click on your graphic card, and this time chooses the Update Driver option.
6. In the following window, click on Search automatically for updated driver software. Let the search process run its course and it will automatically install the most up-to-date drivers available for your graphic card.
Alternatively, you can head over to your graphic card manufacturer’s website and manually download the drivers suitable for your card version, OS, and CPU architecture. If the above method didn’t work, then you can try some other ways to update your graphics card driver .
Method 3: Run FFXIV using DirectX 9
Newer versions of Windows 10 run games using DirectX 11 by default. Some users have reported solving the fatal error by running Final Fantasy using DirectX 9, making it worth a try. You can either change from DirectX 11 to DirectX 9 through the in-game settings or from Steam (assuming you installed the game from there).
In-game settings to change to DirectX 9 can be found at Settings > System Configuration > Graphics tab, as for changing using Steam:
1. Double-click on the Steam shortcut icon on your desktop to open the application. If you do not have a shortcut icon on your desktop, simply search for Steam in the start search bar (Windows key + S).
2. Click on the Library present at the top of the application window to switch to the library tab. The library, as obvious, is a list of all games you have downloaded via Steam.
3. In the library section, look for FINAL FANTASY XIV and right-click on it. From the ensuing context menu, select Properties.
4. Under the General properties tab, click on Set Launch Details.
5. Carefully type “-dx9” in the Launch Options text box.
Note: If you find any other entries/options already present, insert a comma to separate the existing launch option from the new one.
6. Click on OK to save the modification. Relaunch the game and see if the error prevails.
Also Read: Download & Install DirectX on Windows 10
Method 4: Add/Force -dx9 to the game’s desktop shortcut
If you didn’t install the game through Steam but from a rather notorious source, simply add -dx9 to the game’s target text to run it using DirectX 9.
1. Right-click on the shortcut icon for Final Fantasy XIV on your desktop and select Properties from the context menu.
2. By default, you should be on the Shortcut tab of the Properties window. Although, if for some reason you aren’t, click on Shortcut to switch to it.
3. Add -dx9 at the end of the current path mentioned in the Target text box.
“C:/Program Files/FFXIV/FFXIV.exe” -dx9
4. Click on the Apply button to save the revised Target path and then click on OK to exit.
Method 5: Disable SLI (For NVIDIA GPUs)
SLI , an Nvidia feature to optimize performance in systems incorporating multiple graphic cards, is unwelcomed by many games, leading to a number of issues. The feature is only required if your system uses multiple GPUs. If your personal computer has a single Nvidia GPU and continues to encounter the DirectX Fatal error, consider disabling SLI.
1. To disable the SLI feature, we will need to open the NVIDIA Control Panel. Right-click on any empty/blank area on your desktop and select NVIDIA Control Panel from the context menu.
2. Once the NVIDIA Control Panel window is open, expand 3D Settings present in the left pane by clicking on the tiny + icon.
3. Under 3D settings, click on Configure SLI, Surround, PhysX.
4. Finally, on the right panel, click on the Disable SLI option.
Once selected, the rectangle at the bottom of the SLI configuration section will display SLI disabled.
5. Click on Apply to save the changes that were made and close the application.
Method 6: Turn Off Crossfire (For AMD GPUs)
Similar to Nvidia’s SLI, users gaming on AMD graphic cards have solved the fatal error by disabling crossfire from Radeon settings.
1. Start by right-clicking on an empty/blank space on your desktop and then select AMD Radeon Settings from the ensuing context menu.
2. Switch to the Gaming tab (found at the bottom of the application window) of the AMD control panel.
3. Next, select Global Settings.
4. Finally, click on the toggle switch to turn off/disable AMD CrossFire.
Restart your computer and run Final Fantasy XIV to check if the fatal DirectX error continues to prevail or not.
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Let us know which one of the above-mentioned methods helped you fix FFXIV Final Fantasy XIV Fatal DirectX Error in the comments below.